BIG Day of Giving: Help us make a difference!

Please join us on May 3rd, 2016 for another historic event for our region, the 2016 BIG Day of Giving. Over a 24-hour period from midnight to midnight, Shoulder To Shoulder will join with nearly 600 other nonprofits to raise money for their causes.

Our goals is to break the generational cycle of fatherlessness in our inner city communities. Please support Shoulder To Shoulder for this year’s Big Day of Giving on Tuesday, May 3rd. On that day please visit Big Day of Giving and help us make an impact.

Please mark your calendar.

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The Missing Man: A Very Special Event

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Shoulder To Shoulder (STS), in partnership with the School of Education at William Jessup University, is proud to announce a major no-cost event that is designed to address the transcendent social issue of our time: FATHERLESSNESS. 

On March 21st, at 6:30 p.m., STS will be holding its second “Waking Up To Fatherlessness” presentation in the Lecture Hall at William Jessup University, 2121 University Avenue, Rocklin, CA 95765. The theme of this special educational event is “The Missing Man” and the evening will be focused upon the following:

  • Fathering and its Generational Impact
  • Changing the Paradigm
  • The Fathering Coalition
  • How Can You and I Help

There are millions of people who live in the Sacramento region and all of us, either directly or indirectly, are affected by the devastating impacts and consequences of fatherlessness. The over 200,000 fatherless children in our area, and their over 1,000,000 related family members, are directly impacted. The rest of us are more indirectly impacted by the costs of fatherlessness, both financial and societal. Considering the fact that fatherlessness is largely responsible for over 70 percent of those in prison, for a large portion of those abusing drugs, and for the poverty created by father-absent homes, the financial costs are staggering. From a societal standpoint, fatherlessness is responsible for 63 percent of juvenile suicides, for 71 percent of teenage pregnancies, for 90 percent of homeless and runaway children, and for significant involvement in gang and other criminal activity.

Given everything that is at stake, we, as citizens and taxpayers, must take steps to break the cycle of fatherlessness. Please take the opportunity to attend “The Missing Man” event on March 21st where you can not only learn more about fatherlessness and its consequences, but can also learn how you, your organization, or your church can personally make a difference in helping to eradicate the pandemic social disease of fatherlessness. You will particularly want to learn about the development of “The Fathering Coalition”, an unprecedented collaborative partnership that is being developed in the Sacramento region.

To register for “The Missing Man” event, please click here.

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January is “National Mentoring Month”

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Here at STS we are celebrating the start of the new year and the value and success of our unique long-term, one-on-one mentoring program for fatherless inner-city boys, and of our Moms Helping Moms support program for the boys’ mothers and grandmothers.

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As our nation focuses upon the value and importance of mentoring, STS is proud of the accomplishments we have achieved through lives that have been literally transformed by the tireless efforts of STS’s dedicated professional staff and by the caring devotion of our outstanding mentors and coaches. Since 2007, STS has served over 300 inner-city boys and that effort has collectively impacted over 2,500 people in a very positive way.

When it comes to the issue of fatherlessness, quality life-transforming mentoring is the absolutely critical key ingredient necessary to break the cycle of this devastating social disease that is so rampant in our nation today. STS has set the example of how to break the cycle of fatherlessness through the provision to our mentees of hope, direction and purpose for their lives, and unconditional love and affirmation. Click here to see and hear about some of the many lives that have been changed.

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As we look around at our communities in the Sacramento region, the number of fatherless boys is still huge and the need to expand our mentoring capabilities is critical. In the next several months, STS is going to make a concerted effort to recruit and train more mentors and coaches but, in order to do that, we need your support to supply the necessary resources so that we can reach more boys. Here is how you can help break the cycle of fatherlessness:

We know that our mentoring brings great results. Please help us rescue more boys from the despair of fatherlessness.

Team STS

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Living generously throughout the year

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In the opening of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is the classic miser….not even a spark of generosity existed in the heart of this selfish man.

On Christmas Eve, Scrooge received a visit from two “portly gentlemen” seeking a charitable contribution for the poor, he was not inspired to give. Then a visit from Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s former partner, the miser’s heart began to soften.

By the end of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge became a man of exceeding and joyful generosity. Nothing reveals his change of heart more than his interaction with the two portly gentlemen on Christmas morning. Seeing them in the streets, he grabbed their hands and wished them Merry Christmas. Then, he whispered into the ear of one of the gentlemen what he intended to contribute to their mission for the poor.

“Lord bless me!” cried the gentleman, as if his breath were taken away. “My dear Mr. Scrooge, are you serious?”

“If you please,” said Scrooge. “Not a farthing less. A great many back-payments are included in it, I assure you.”

Today Christmas is a time for generosity. Some are caught up in the gift-giving spirit of the season. Others make charitable gifts to lessen their tax burden. Still others are moved to drop spare change into the Salvation Army red kettles.

“And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”   2 Corinthians 9:8

For Christians, generosity is surely one excellent way to celebrate the birth of Christ. We give, not simply because of seasonal emotion, but because God has given so richly to us in Jesus Christ. Moreover, as 2 Corinthians 9:8 makes clear, we are generous because God has so generously blessed us “with every blessing in abundance.”

We pass on to others that which God has lavished upon us. We hear as if spoken to us the instructions Jesus once gave to his first disciples, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt 10:8, NIV).

Of course, our generous response to God’s generosity is not limited to the Christmas season. Thus, we have the opportunity and responsibility to give each day what God has lavished upon us. We keep Christmas well through living generously throughout the year.

Please consider a Gift now to help us end fatherlessness in the greater Sacramento region!

On behalf of the urban fatherless and their single moms and grandmothers, THANK YOU!

TeamSTS

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Shoulder To Shoulder celebrates its 20th anniversary!

Shoulder To Shoulder (STS) has evolved over time following the vision from God upon its founding, on December 5th, 1995. For the first seven years significant effort centered on strengthening men and their role in their family and their relationship with God. Around 25,000 men in the greater Sacramento region were greatly impacted by STS’s Point Man Monthly Breakfast Series.

Below are the men who helped launch the Breakfast Series for seven years…

In 2003, STS implemented a small group model for men that resulted in transforming their lives into the men God desires. This model also greatly assisted men in understanding the disciplines necessary to develop and maintain an intimate relationship with God.

In 2007, STS began its community phase of outreach to meet the needs of fatherless young boys in the Sacramento region’s inner city areas. In cooperation with Twin Rivers USD officials, STS began to provide onsite, life-transforming support efforts for 350 boys and their families over the ensuing years. Today STS is expanding its capabilities to meet the huge demand for its unique, long-term, one-on-one mentoring program that also includes care for the moms of our mentees.

It is a fact that, in the Sacramento region, there are around 200,000 children who go to bed each night without a father in their lives. This staggering number shows the magnitude of the problem and STS has realized that it is going to take a broad-based united effort to meet the needs.

As a result, STS is in the process of creating The Fathering Coalition, a multi-level coalition of churches and other supporting organizations, to help achieve the goal of ending fatherlessness in our area. The core of the Coalition will consist of area churches who serve as a pool of potential mentors for our young boys and potential coaches for our care for the moms.

We at STS are very excited about what The Fathering Coalition can do and we hope you will support this effort by doing the following:

We are looking forward to see what 2016 will bring and, with your help, it can be an amazing year.

With gratitude,

 

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Year-End Giving with Meaning and Purpose

Dear Friends of STS,

As you make decisions about your year-end giving plans, please consider the following recent timely event that saturated the news media.

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It was 3:45 in the afternoon when the shooting took place. Five players on the Grant Union High School football team in Sacramento had stopped to get some food before the playoff game, and were on their way back to school to suit up. Excitement was high when their lives were suddenly shattered by gunshots. One dead, another injured, a game postponed, and inner-city lives completely altered. The entire Grant High School family and the largely fatherless Del Paso Heights community was once again rocked by a fatal shooting.

It is at times like this when God and family provide shelter and comfort in the storm. It is in the hard times when a Dad can help his children weather the storm. But what can be done when a young boy has no father to run to. When a young inner-city boy’s world is rocked, whether by a shooting or something else, where can he go when there is no Dad in the home?

This is why Shoulder To Shoulder is so passionate about what we do. God’s intention has always been for Dads to be there for their children, especially in times of adversity. But where there is no Dad, we at STS have the privilege to be there as a mentor and to help the boys process through, and learn from, hard times. When the Grant High football team held a players and coaches-only meeting right before the re-scheduled game, one of the STS mentors, who is also a pastor in Del Paso Heights, was invited to be there. At a critical time, he was able to help the players navigate through their raw emotions. In the same way, our STS mentors are there for every mentee and our “Moms Helping Moms” coaches are there for their single mothers.

Our ability to be there for the fatherless is made possible because of your prayers, service, and support. As we approach the end of the year, with Thanksgiving and Christmas filling the air, would you remember TeamSTS? You can help us break the cycle of fatherlessness in three different ways:

  1. Pray for us. Pray that God would use us to reach the fatherless, and their families, with God’s transforming love. Ask your church to put TeamSTS on its prayer list.
  2. Volunteer. Consider becoming a Mentor or perhaps a Coach in our “Moms Helping Moms” program. You could also help with our upcoming Bowl-A-Thon (in March) and our Father/Son Legacy Run (in June).
  3. Give. We are grateful for all monthly and one-time gifts. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we take no State or Federal funds, but rely upon the generosity of those who understand and appreciate the value of what we do. Your tax-deductible gifts will help us reach more fatherless young boys; we currently have 25 boys on our waiting list and your generous year-end gift could help eliminate the waiting list and truly make a difference in many lives.

From all of us at TeamSTS, thank you for your support and we hope that you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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We’re grateful for a fantastic 4th Annual Igniting Hope Gala!

STS-550px-Gala01-blogOn October 23rd, approximately 250 people attended the Igniting Hope Gala. We were blessed to have so many of our supporters present including a number of our local officials and their representatives.

The Gala exceeded our expectations of the number of people touched by what God is doing through TeamSTS in transforming lives in our inner cities. The degree to which people have engaged with STS to further our mission has been music to our ears and the many who gave funds will help us to continue and expand our efforts to break the cycle of fatherlessness.

We want to say a big THANK YOU to all of our corporate partners, sponsors, and hosts. You are helping to do something truly meaningful in our communities. We could not do what we do without you.

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Stories of Success

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, the grandmother of Jeremiah, a mentee, was singing praises about Jeremiah’s mentor. She told me how the mentor took Jeremiah to get a battery for her smoke alarm and installed it.  She also shared how his mentor graciously worked on her backyard.  She made a point to let us know that the mentor had Jeremiah doing most of the work – but that his mentor gave him direction and time.  “Jeremiah really likes his mentor!”  Jeremiah loves the fact that his mentor spends so much time with him. Perhaps it may seem like mentors aren’t connecting with their mentees at times, but when you are not looking, his grandmother gets to see the smile on his face and the confidence in his walk.  A story of love!


Elijah, a 14 year old boy, continues to impress my friends and our acquaintances with his maturity. On the Cast Hope fishing trip, our fishing guide commented on his goodness after spending 5 hours on the Yuba River.  My family and friends at church were also excited to see him paint alongside them on a service project in Del Paso Heights. He worked hard and never complained or asked to stop from 10 am till 3:00 pm. He is becoming comfortable around different people.  A story of transformation!


After understanding the STS goal setting process, my mentee, Chou, stared at the area outside of his house and decided to take responsibility for the “garden” strip under eve in front. Working side by side, we cleared, planted (gardenias and azaleas), put in drip irrigation and bark. Chou did much of the shovel work, cut and glued the PVC and helped with weed shield.  He seems very proud of his garden. It took us 4 hours! We finished in rain and dark but he kept working to accomplish his goal!  A story of success!


Jorge, my mentee, came to me after he and I had been matched for about 6 months and asked if it was possible for his girlfriend, Arianna, to get a mentor with STS. I told Jorge that I would look into it but that right now we only have men serving boys. I was curious why Jorge made this request so I asked him why.  Jorge said his girlfriend noticed the improvement in his grades and wanted help from a mentor to get her grades up. Jorge also explained that her grades have slowly declined as her freshman year has progressed. I asked Jorge “Does she think all I do is tutor you?” Jorge said he wasn’t sure but that she had seen Jorge’s grades improve from a .16 GPA to a 3.0 GPA on his progress reports and she wants to be a part of it.  A story of success and hope!


Yesterday Tammy met with a single mother who had recently been forced out of her home and currently living between family members. School started and one of her sons couldn’t go to school because the only shoes he had access to were flip flops and cleats to play baseball in.  Everything else was in storage. When I called the mom to ask her if any of her sons needed shoes, she burst into tears. “Oh my God, I can’t believe you just asked me that. I took my kids to school today and one of them wasn’t allowed in his classroom because I don’t have proper shoes for him to wear!” I asked her to bring her son and meet someone who wanted to bless her. Tammy and the mom met, as well as the young man out of school. Tammy gave the two boys their new shoes and we can only imagine the emotional exchange that went on between mother, sons and someone who cares enough to share.  A story of blessing!


Rose – Since implementing the tools I learned in the MHM classes, my son and I are able to communicate clearly, and more regularly. He is comfortable talking to me about things; whereas before he would shut himself up in the room, go outside to play with friends, or act out in subtle ways to communicate his frustrations.  A story about growth


Adam – From the very beginning it was clear that Adam was attending Freedom Hall for a purpose. Adam is fairly small, physically and his voice is gentle and sometimes described as squeaky. It took several weeks of attendance before Adam began to open up to his peers and the staff at Freedom Hall because he would often be made fun of in school. Over the course of time Adam not only began to open up to his peers but became a natural leader. During our team building activities Adam emerges as the individual who pulls his peers together to accomplish their task.  A story about maturing


Ericka – My son has adjusted very well to being in a different State. He has achieved honor roll at his Middle School with a 3.2 GPA. We both continue to communicate with our chosen mentor; whom we respect and love dearly.  I thank all of the STS Family members for all of your love and support. Thank you so much. I love the entire program – the Moms Helping Moms each second Saturday – the closeness of the entire STS Family – they are genuinely concerned about the uplifting, elevating and success of our fatherless sons in our community! Keep doing what you do!  A story of success!


Isaiah (Mentee since 2007) – According to his mother, within weeks Isaiah’s attitude improved and his self-confidence soared. Through participating in STS workshops and activities, he gained the tools to deal with his anger and the challenges he faced. With improved confidence and STS tutoring, Isaiah’s grades improved through 7th and 8th grade to a 3.6 average. After graduating from high school in four years, Isaiah moved on to Sacramento City College.  A story of transformation!


Semaj (Mentee since 2007) – I was never judged when I came here.  You are not judged for what you did or what you do. They would stand by me anyway. I didn’t realize what I was missing. If I want to lead, I have to learn to follow. They taught me to understand (others) before I can be understood. I learned about integrity and what it means to be a real man. Besides my mom, Shoulder To Shoulder is the most consistent thing I’ve had in my life. I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for Freedom Hall. I want to help someone else so they can see how it feels and then they can help someone else, and we can change everything.  A story of transformation!

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Is fatherlessness really a SERIOUS problem?

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If you could save a young life, would you do so?

Here at STS, we see every day the devastating impact that fatherlessness brings to many inner-city boys and their single moms. From our direct experience, we have seen the consequences of fatherlessness that has translated tragically into the following all-too-familiar statistics. Those growing up in fatherless home account for:

  • 63% or youth suicide
  • 71% of all high school dropouts
  • 71% of teenage pregnancies
  • 75% of adult males in prison
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway youth

As alarming and horrendous as the above statistics are, they simply reflect behavioral outcomes that result from the consequences of fatherlessness. The most serious consequence obviously is the literal loss of lives – lives that could be saved by STS’ ability to “Break The Cycle” of fatherlessness. Saving the lives of fatherless is VERY SERIOUS!!

Faced with these alarming facts, you may be asking yourself what is it that really causes these young people to want to take their lives.  The answer is:  OVERWHELMING DESPAIR AND HOPELESSNESS. Research clearly shows that fatherlessness is the cause of this type of despair and hopelessness.

Consider this personal confession from a young boy:

“I didn’t have a father. So all my life, I imagined a man and how he would be my father. It’s the closest thing I will have to a real father.”

So here is the question: If you could save a young life from suicide right here in the Sacramento area, would you do so? If your answer is “YES”, join STS Action Team to Break The Cycle of fatherlessness by becoming a mentor to a young boy, a coach in our “Moms Helping Moms” program, or by making a generous contribution to STS that will allow us to provide desperately-needed support to our waiting list of young boys who need our help.  This is a call to action so please help us insure that no young boy on our waiting list becomes part of the 63%. Shoulder To Shoulder and the boys need you!!

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Mark Your Calendar for the 2015 Igniting Hope Gala

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Shoulder to Shoulder Cordially Invites You to Join Us for a Memorable and Inspiring Evening

Meet some of our young men, and hear how their lives have been changed forever by Shoulder to Shoulder.

This inspirational evening is dedicated to celebration, honoring those making a difference, and witnessing inspiring stories of hope and transformation.

The 4th Igniting Hope Gala will feature dinner, live music, and life-changing stories from Mentors, Mentees, and Moms.

It will be a time of celebration inspiration, and honoring.

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Please join us for this memorable evening! Attire is business casual.

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Thank you for considering this unique opportunity to support our vision of Igniting Hope in our fatherless young boys in North Sacramento. We look forward to meeting with you and sharing our dedication to transforming lives and Igniting Hope within communities where “hope” is hard to find.

For more information about the event, sponsorships or hosting a table call
Noel Smith at 916.718.5688 or email her at goteam@teamsts.org


The Center at Twenty-Three Hundred

2300 Sierra Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95825

Friday October 23, 2015 5:30 p.m.– 9:00 p.m.


 

 

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